Walked Up Shooting in the UK with Spaniels, by Nick Ridley

Watch: Walked Up Shooting in the UK with Spaniels, by Nick Ridley — Featuring Ted, his 4-legged dynamo of a cocker spaniel

I’ve always wanted to shoot in the UK — but not for driven birds. Instead, I want to go rough shooting, which is what you see in this video.

Nick Ridley is the U.K.’s leading dog photographer. He’s also bird hunter, dog trainer, and a lover of cocker spaniels.

For years now, he and his Circle of Trust Rough Shooting Syndicate have been making videos of their shooting adventures throughout the UK. The one above shows them in Bedfordshire hunting pheasants and chukars in terrain that looks a lot like the northeastern US. As always, Nick shoots well and his cocker spaniel Ted does a great job.

Nick Ridley and The Circle of Trust Rough Shooting Syndicate
Nick Ridley and The Circle of Trust Rough Shooting Syndicate

Get a great deal on driven shooting in the UK…

Make some memories at Delaney & Sons 2017 Beacons Shoot
Make some memories at Delaney & Sons 2017 Beacons Shoot

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Opportunity – specifically the opportunity to get $1000 off on a dream trip to shoot in the UK.

For several years now, Delaney and Sons has given American hunters the chance to experience some of the finest driven shooting in the UK at very reasonable prices. Due to client conflict, a spot just opened up on their famed Beacons Shoot, scheduled for the end of the November, this year. Here are the details from Delaney and Sons:

“Sometimes life interferes with the best laid plans. Our friend and past shooter, pictured above, unfortunately has been forced to cancel his trip with us next month due to an illness. He has asked us to try to sell his peg for $7,700, a discount of $1,000.

If you are adventurous and have been wanting to come with us, now is the time. The 2018 price is $9,200 (there are only 4 spots left by the way.)

Amazingly, flights are still a decent price depending on the airport. We will be picking up our team at London Heathrow on the morning of Sunday 26 November at 9:30am. Everyone will be taken back to Heathrow late in the morning on Saturday 2 December. So please keep that in mind when looking at flights. Some shooters stay at the Marriott Renaissance Heathrow the night before pick up. We will pick you up in the lobby at 10:00am.

Make some memories at Delaney & Sons 2017 Beacons Shoot
Make some memories at Delaney & Sons 2017 Beacons Shoot

Please let us know if you might have interest, and feel free to give us a call as soon as possible at 717-919-5317.

The price for friend or spouse traveling with you is $1,600.

Click here to link to the relevant page on our website (about 2018 though).”

7 reasons you’ll kick yourself if you miss this shoot …

“The memories will last a lifetime!” – David J.

Wales awaits! If you’ve ever dreamt of shooting in the UK, you’re in luck: The Harding Shoot has a few spots left. It runs from November 15, 2015, to November 21, 2015. .Here are 7 reasons you have to go:

1) Superb Birds. High and fast, with great presentations for shooters.

2) Visit five different estates over five days. With shoots in England & Wales

3) Be challenged by a variety of driven birds. Pheasants, partridge, ducks, and woodcock – far more variety than most shoots offer.

4) Shoot more. This shoot present you with more birds and drives than shoots costing much more.

5) Wonderful accommodations. Including great Welsh food and hospitality.

6) Experience the camaraderie of the entire team: shooters, keepers, beaters, pickers-up, and dog handlers.

7) Best of all: it’s a superb value. $8500 for an all-inclusive week.

To learn more, visit The Harding Shoot now, or call 717-919-5317 to speak with the shoot’s organizers right away.

The Harding Shoot is as good as it gets! I have gone for 14 years. I have great memories of outstanding drives. If one wants to experience true British Driven Shooting on beautiful Estates at a reasonable price, I highly recommend the Harding Shoot.” -Tod D.

The Harding Shoot – A Driven Bird Hunt in Wales from Sean Delaney on Vimeo.

“The experience was truly unique. Staying in a classic 16th Century hotel in the charming rural village of Crickhowell, shooting a mixed bag (pheasant, partridge, ducks, and woodcock) on a new estate daily were just some of the highlights. What I thought to be a one time experience turned into me returning for the next five years. The memories and, more importantly, the friendships developed during those years, will last a lifetime.” – David J.

You can read more about everything that makes the Harding Shoot a great time in this post which I put up a few months ago.

What hunting is really about …

I used to make it out to South Dakota for the pheasant opener each year. While we always shot a lot of birds, the experience was about a lot more than the birds we brought home. This video from Team Wild TV reminds me of what I loved so much about it. While my crowd carried autoloaders and dressed in Carhartts instead of tweeds, we shared many of the same sentiments.

Driven Pheasant Shooting: The Wolseley Park Shoot, Team Wild TV
Driven Pheasant Shooting: The Wolseley Park Shoot, Team Wild TV

Take a dream trip to Wales with Delaney & Sons …

The Harding Shoot with Delaney & Sons, traditional shooting in Wales, tailored for Americans
The Harding Shoot with Delaney & Sons, traditional shooting in Wales, tailored for Americans

Being a sucker for history, double barrel shotguns, and all things tweedy, I’ve always wanted to shoot in the UK. If I had the time, I would definitely join Delaney & Sons this fall in Wales for their 2015 Harding Shoot.

Established in 1999, The Harding Shoot runs from November 15th to November 21st. It is based in the majestic hills of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, and guests stay in the quaint town of Crickhowell, Wales, at the historic Dragon Inn.

Last fall, Sean Delaney and his wife, Liz, took over the shoot from its originator. Their goal “… is to provide like minded American hunters with hassle-free access to traditional, high quality driven  shooting — without pretense —  for a reasonable price.”

The 2015 Harding Shoot is an all-inclusive affair and accommodations, ground transport, gun hire, ammunition, visitor’s permits, and food are all included. The price: $8,500.

To join the 2015 Harding Shoot, call 717-919-5317 for more info.

Here’s more about the Harding Shoot, from Sean Delaney:

“For our trip, all you need to do is show up at Heathrow on Sunday, and the rest is sorted from there.  We provide nice vintage boxlocks, with the odd sidelock thrown in, as well as modern over unders if that is someone’s preference. If someone wants to bring their own guns, that is fine as well.  Cartridges, food, lodging, etc. are all included. Tips to the individual estate keeper and alcohol at night are not included. The food is great, but there are no black tie dinners at castles.

The locals in the town we stay in, Crickhowell, know that we are coming and stop in throughout the week to say hello. If you go in a shop, the proprietor will likely say, “I heard the Americans were coming this week, how’s the sport been?”.

As far as the hunting is concerned, we are trying to drive home the point that driven shooting is a team endeavor, and a lot of people work very hard to present high birds to the guns. The head keeper, beaters, dog handlers and pickers up act in coordination with the guns to bring the bag home to be processed and sent to market. On many estates, the shoot lunch is a lavish affair held in a shoot lodge, but the beaters, handlers, and pickers up eat a boxed lunch in the parking lot. We have a much more egalitarian (American?) set up, inasmuch as well all eat together in a barn or an outbuilding. I think that this is a great way to really immerse the hunters in the tradition of the sport.

The other thing that we provide is hunting diversity. First, we hunt five estates over five days.  The larger estates could entertain a team for a whole week, but ours are generally smaller.  One of the shoots is almost entirely private; they only let one day a year, to us.  We get to see different terrain and meet different people every day. Second, we provide diversity of species. Every shoot in the UK has pheasants, and many have partridge as well.  But we add duck and woodcock to the bag, which is fairly unique.”

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